Described as "especially glorious... ethereal" by Whole Note, and "a highlight of the concert" by the Boston Musical Intelligencer, the music of Canadian composer Tawnie Olson has been performed by a wide range of ensembles and individual musicians, including the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Gemini Duo, Duo Fiolûtröniq, Parthenia, the Wanmu Percussion Trio, the McGill, University of Calgary, and University of Toronto Percussion Ensembles, the Land's End Ensemble, the Canadian Chamber Choir, the Toronto Chamber Choir, the Guelph Chamber Choir, the Norfolk Festival Choir, the Yale Camerata and Yale Pro Musica, bassoonists Nadina Mackie Jackson and Rachael Elliott, and harpsichordist Katelyn Clark. She has won awards from the SOCAN foundation and the Guelph Chamber Choir/Musica Viva, and is a two-time semifinalist in the Sorel Foundation competition. Her composition Scel lem duib, for chamber chorus and harp, was one of three works selected (out of 170 submissions) for publication in the National Collegiate Choral Organization's 2013 choral music series.
Recent projects include Paraclete, for solo clarinet doubling kick drum and Tibetan singing bowl, written for Louise Campbell, Thorns, commissioned by John and Terry Hare for Parthenia and bass-baritone Dashon Burton, Scel lem duib, for chamber chorus and harp, commissioned by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music for the Yale Camerata, Le Tombeau d'Annelie De Man, a new work for harpsichord and digital audio commissioned by Katelyn Clark with assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts, and Le Revenant, for voice and piano, commissioned by Stacie Dunlop. In May 2010 a recording of her composition Chantez à l'Éternel was released on the Canadian Chamber Choir's CD, "In Good Company," in September 2011 Rachael Elliott released a recording of À mon seul désir on the album "Polka the Elk," and in June 2013 Plainsong was released on Catherine Lee 's new album, "Social Sounds."
Olson holds a doctorate in music composition from the University of Toronto, a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music, an Artist Diploma from the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Calgary. In 2013-2014 she is visiting assistant professor of composition at the Hartt School of Music.